Host Anna Borges speaks with Mood Ring producer Georgina Hahn about her concept of Lamby. They explore the unique way of being tender, supported by a conversation on inner child work with writer and mystic Bernice Angoh.
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SOFT GUITAR MUSIC PLAYS
Georgie: Close your eyes and take it way back. Try to remember a quintessential childhood moment, something that encapsulates the best parts of being a kid. Getting lost in your own backyard. Long summer days. Cartoons in your jammies. Playing make-believe. Can you remember the feeling of possibility and wonder?
Anna: That is Georgina Hahn, one of our producers on the show. And she’s telling us about something that’s very close to her heart - letting our inner child out so our most authentic selves can shine. And she even has a name for it.
Georgie: I call it Lamby. Lamby is writing in my room, surrounded by the soft and tender, exploring my thoughts and feelings. It’s waking up to my roommates cooking breakfast, and cuddling my stuffed Lamby in my matching adult-sized pajama set.
But it’s about so much more than that, too. Lamby is kind of a way of life for me, reaching out to my inner child, taking care of her, looking out for her, helps me create a life of curiosity and openness. To go easy and not be so concerned with what other people think. It’s about giving ourselves permission to be, well, unapologetically Lamby.
MOOD RING THEME
Anna: I’m Anna Borges, and this is Mood Ring, a practical guide to feelings—especially the feelings so specific, you make up words for them.
As you might have guessed, I tapped Georgie to kick us off because—well, I’m not very lamby. Or at least, I didn’t think I was when Georgie first introduced me to the idea. It sounded cute and optimistic and happy, and when Georgie explained it to me with like the earnestness of a baby lamb, I had to admit to her that I had never related to anything less in my life.
So, naturally, we had to do an episode on it. That is the challenge we set for ourselves, right? To occasionally give something a try, even when you’re convinced it is not for you.
Which is exactly why I wanted Georgie to steer us today, so we could learn direct from the source: what can channeling our inner child look like when we don’t associate childhood with tenderness and softness? Or, what might be getting in our way? First, I talked to Georgie about all things Lamby.
Anna: For our listeners, but also still for me, I feel like I go back and forth whether or not I understand Lamby, so, what is Lamby, when and how did you come up with it?
Georgie: Okay. Lamby is being unapologetically connected to your inner child and those desires and being tender and being soft and also really leading with that, putting that on your sleeve and putting the sort of gentle vibe forward. And it came about from a stuffed animal that my grandma sent me on Easter when I was 20 or 21, living with my best friend. And we got this like cute little lamb and we would like, just bring her everywhere and do photo shoots with her. And like, just like she was a character in our house. When I moved to New Mexico, I had a radio show called the Lamby Hour on a community radio station. I made a ton of friends through the radio show who were all Lamby? And so I was like, just really beautiful that I feel like the, the energy I was putting out there was really coming back to me and who I was getting to know.
Anna: What I love is before this interview, I was like, please use Lamy in a sentence. Is it a verb? Is it an adjective? And it, it's like a state of mind, it could be an adjective. Like you're so Lamby. But it's also kind of stands out as like a value, like a value system for how you make decisions in your life. You know, like, is this Lamby, is this not Lamby? This place is not Lamby. This place is Lamby. It's, I'm, I'm really into it.
Georgina: A hundred percent. And I think also it helps me sort of make decisions about like what environments I put myself into. Cuz it just feels like so important that I like try and keep that constant in, in terms of like the people that I spend time with, the activities, the, the food, the clothes, like literally down to just like how I feel in my body.
Anna: So, if people who are listening are also kind of doing the same thing, like, what is that for me? Do you have a recommendation of where they start?
Georgie: I think it's just noticing when do I feel cozy? Kind of like when, when do I feel like safe? Is it just that moment when I make myself a cup of coffee and like feel the warmth to my body? Like who are the people and what are resources around me that are going to kind of evoke that feeling? I think also like putting aside some time each week to be like, I'm just, I'm going to have an afternoon to myself and just do what I'm gonna enjoy doing. [Anna: Mhmm] Also, yeah, like when you wake up, like, okay, is there any room for some Lambiness today? Is there any like, anything on my agenda that I can approach with softness instead of, um, my usual hardness?
Anna: Have you, have you felt pressure to not be Lamby and like had to reclaim your lambiness?
Georgie: I think it was hard in high school and college to be in a very like, like NYU was so cool. You know, like everyone was trying to be so edgy and cool that I think it took a long time to stop trying to be cool and just embracing kind of the nerd. It’s not even nerdy but…
Anna: Ooh, this thing that Georgie completely made up is speaking to me. But as people may or may not know, if they follow me on twitter I recently fell back into like being like into fandom and fanfic too. And like, I've like kind of like been unabashed about talking about it with like people I work with and some of them are like, I don't know how to respond to this. Like isn't’ that a weird thing? And I've like, felt like, so for lack of a better word, annoying, but it's because I'm not like worrying about sounding cool. And the kind of like unselfconscious, I don't know enthusiasm.
Georgie: Yeah. And I think to be honest, you will weed some people out, like some people will be like, that's weird. But then on the other side you'll then become like a magnet for people who are your same kind of vibe. And that's really cool to see happen.
Anna: Okay, so I did find a way to connect with this idea after all. But I still wondered… what do you do if this lamby stuff doesn’t come so easily? After the break, we talk with someone who helps us understand our inner child. Stay with us.
MOOD RING THEME
Anna: Hey, welcome back to Mood Ring. Before the break, our producer Georgina Hahn and I were chatting through some ways we can channel our inner child. But even though I was starting to get on board with the concept, I still had some questions. Like, what happens if my inner child wasn’t very joyful or tender or free? What if I’m not sure who I’m connecting with?
To help, I talked with Bernice Angoh, a writer, mystic, poet and author of Dear Me: Love letters to my inner child. She gave us some more perspective on how connecting with our inner child often needs to start from a place of healing and discovery.
Anna: If you could kick us off by telling us a little bit more about inner child work and what that even means, I'd so appreciate it.
Bernice: Oh, okay. No problem. First of all, how do we define the inner child? I define the inner child as the original you. The you before all the conditioning from culture, from religion, from society, from politics. So, who were you when you still had that sensitivity? That joie de vivre, you know, like you just had this wonder, this great imagination and that's the part of you, that's your inner child. When there were no limits to anything.
Anna: Oh man. In my head I'm like, oh, who is that? I don't even know anymore. I feel like there's a lot of, a lot of bull crap piled on top of, of, of her.
Bernice: A lot, a lot. Because we are born into our families and we spend so many years of our lives trying to retrace our steps, to go back to being that free unapologetic, authentic self.
Anna: Absolutely. And so inner child work is the work of, reconnecting with that authentic you.
Bernice: Yes. But in order to reconnect, you, you do have to, to retrace your steps because you have to take a, a deep look into your family history, into your family dynamics, into so much of what has made you, you and into your society also. Cause a lot of the times we end up becoming what our family and society has prescribed for us. And we basically, I always say we put our inner child in a perpetual timeout. It's like, hush, I don't want to hear anything you have to say, who are you anyway? You know? And so being able to re-parent or to nurture our inner child, that's where the healing, you know, begins to be able to know where the shame comes from, where the guilt comes from, where the blame comes from, and all that hurt and hiding comes from.
Anna: Man, so how do we like begin spending like time with this inner child?
Bernice: So, the first thing that I usually tell people to do is to get- look for a picture of yourself when you are a child. I have this picture of me when I was five years old, and I used to put it in my wallet. I used to put it on, you know, on my phone, on my screen. And when I start to have that negative self talk, I would look at that little girl and imagine that that's the person I'm talking to. And I'd be disgusted, like how dare you? You know, this child didn't know any better. They were young. They didn't, you know, they didn't deserve this to happen to them. So, you start to speak to yourself with a, with a little more tenderness and compassion and forgiveness. This child needs your guidance. This child doesn't have a clue about navigating this life. So you are the parent now to yourself, you're your own mother and father. How would you treat that you? And then you bring it back to yourself now as an adult, right? Because that's the same person.
MUSIC — lyrics: “All my clothes are slightly dirty … all my thoughts are clean …”
Anna: Obviously, the first thing I wanted to do after talking with Bernice was find a picture of young me. And in the spirit of Lamby, I asked Georgie if she’d find one, too.
Anna: Describe to the class what we're seeing.
Georgie: Okay. So this is a photo of me and my great-grandmother in Hungary, outside of her house. So I'm wearing, like a polo dress shirt and I'm wearing papucs, which are Hungarian little slippers. They're red with embroidery. And, I found a turtle that was on its back. And my great-grandmother used that broom to flip it over onto its belly. [Anna: oh my god] And the feeling is kind of just like, like just sort of excitement and like-
Anna: It looks like you're yelling. Your arms are thrown behind you [laughs].
Georgie: I always loved being like, let's go do this. Kinda like, the catalyst.
Anna: So the you in this picture, how, how do you think she would hope you were spending your time right now?
Georgie: Having fun, spending time with other people and doing things that are Lamby. Is that a cop out? No, like, I don't know. I just feel like young me would want the vibrant excitement and compassionate feelings to like lead my life.
Anna: It sounds like the young you in the picture would be very happy with how you're living right now.
Georgie: I think so.
Anna: Aww, so sweet. Does this mean I have to share mine now?
Georgie: Yes. Your turn!
Anna: So this is me. Uh, God. Oh, there's so many different things I'm now noticing about this picture now that I'm gonna walk through it. This is what I consider our old house, you know, when I like dream of the old house, and it's me outside in one of those little, god, it must be even smaller than it looks because I am a small child, but like a little plastic pool and I am laying down in it. My like legs are floating, but like I'm reclining against the side of the pool. And my like arms are crossed over my stomach, like comfortable. And I'm smiling for the camera, which, you know, stops when you hit a certain year in my photo albums. And like, I'm like winking because the sun was in my eye as I was like having this picture taken. There's someone there adding more water to the pool. There's like a football in the background. It's just like, it's very, I don't know, summer vibes. Just peaceful summer vibes. And the reason I picked it is because like very specifically, one thing that I know about myself is I really, really like being in the water. I think the most Lamby, I feel like the most expansive my world feels. So when I saw this picture, I was like, hmm, young me, in this picture would not be happy with how I was spending my summer. But I think I'm getting there. Like, I think like with the creativity that I'm bringing into my summer already, she's happy with that. She's also a very imaginative young girl. She loves making believe. Oh my God, the amount of make believe we played. Ugh. Oh, I love her! But yeah, I think, I think what I've been realizing lately is she would not be the most happy with how I'm spending my time.
Georgie: How would they hope you're spending your time?
Anna: I think she would want me to have more outlets for creativity and imagination. And water. Before we end, what is the lambiest thing you're gonna do today? Once we're done?
Georgie: Well, I was gonna go to the pool, so yeah, I also have great childhood pool water memories.
Anna: Thank you so much for sharing Lammy with us. I’m really excited for finding my version of it.
MUSIC - lyrics: I have a way for us … I have a plan for me … I know who I want to be …
Anna: When I sat down to write the conclusion to this episode, I read back through that last bit conversation to get my bearings and you guess what? Like, I do want to spend more time playing and less time working, so I decided to call it a wrap there and go play video games. Which means this episode is almost over. Young Me is pretty pleased with that decision. And I hope you ask your inner child what they want for you today, too.
Thank you again to our producer Georgina Hahn for sharing the magic of Lamby with us. I couldn’t have channeled my inner child without you.
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Thanks for listening to Mood Ring, a production of APM Studios and Pizza Shark. We’re a new show, so it really helps if you rate, review and share this episode with your friends.
You can even tag me if you’re really into it — I’m @AnnaBroges on Twitter – that’s Anna B-R-O-G-E-S … because Anna Borges was taken. We want to hear from you. You can get in touch at Moodringshow DOT ORG and click “Contact Us.” Or follow Mood Ring Show on Twitter and Instagram. You can also call and leave us a message at 833-666-3746.
Mood Ring was developed by Kristina Lopez. Our executive producers are Maria Murriel, Isis Madrid and Beth Pearlman. Our story editor is Erika Janik. Mijoe Sahiouni is our digital producer. This episode was produced by Georgina Hahn. And as you know, I’m Anna Borges and I write, host and produce this show too.
APM Executives in charge are Chandra Kavati, Alex Schaffert and Joanne Griffith. And finally, our music is by Mat Rotenberg.
Thanks again for listening, and I hope to see you next episode!